WHL Roundup: One-goal games impact Eastern Conference standings in Sunday’s action
Medicine Hat Tigers (4) at Calgary Hitmen (5)
Medicine Hat (28-23-7-0) // Calgary (17-31-5-2)
No lead is safe in the Central Division, a facet of the game the Medicine Hat Tigers learned the hard way against the Calgary Hitmen Sunday.
The Hitmen reeled off three goals in the third period to win a 5-3 battle, helping Calgary get revenge for a shutout loss in Medicine Hat earlier in the weekend.
David Quenneville (New York Islanders) had the lone goal of the first period, but the Hitmen responded quickly in the second with goals from Dakota Krebs and Carson Focht in a 79 second span.
The Tigers would have a response to that challenge though, retaking the lead on goals from Ryan Jevne and Bryan Lockner to lead 3-2 after 40 minutes.
The game was far from over though and the Hitmen were ready to take charge in the second. Focht tallied his second of the game 7:25 into the final period of regulation, followed by Conner Chaulk scoring his 12th of the season to put the Hitmen ahead, only to see Mark Rassell notch his 45th of the season with 5:35 to go in the game.
That wouldn’t be the final goal though as with 1:48 left, Chaulk tallied his second of the game to lift the Hitmen to victory.
Luke Coleman had a pair of assists for the Hitmen in the victory while Quenneville, Rassell, and Lockner each added an assist for the multi-point effort.
Facing 48 shots, Nick Schneider (Calgary Flames) stopped 44 of them. Michael Bullion faced 47 shots himself, stopping 42.
— Calgary Hitmen (@WHLHitmen) February 11, 2018
Swift Current Broncos (6) at Prince Albert Raiders (5)
Swift Current (40-13-3-1) // Prince Albert (22-23-9-2)
The Swift Current Broncos survived a late challenge in the third period from the Prince Albert Raiders Sunday, holding on for the 6-5 victory and their fourth straight win.
Andrew Fyten scored twice and captain Glenn Gawdin (Calgary Flames) added a goal and three points to move into the WHL’s scoring lead with 104 points, but it was Max Patterson’s second point of the game, a goal with 4:02 to go in the third, lifting the Broncos to their 40th victory of the season.
Fyten’s goals both came in the first period, equalling goals from Nikita Krivokrasov and Jordy Stallard (Winnipeg Jets) to keep the score tied at 2-2 after 20 minutes.
In the second, the Raiders struck first, but it was a period that would belong to the Broncos. Gawdin, Josh Anderson (Colorado Avalanche), and Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes) scored in a 7:13 span to create a two-goal cushion after 40 minutes.
The Raiders would find the strength for a comeback in the third, receiving goals from McDonald and Fonstad to even up the score. Patterson’s eighth of the season would spoil the comeback bid though with his eighth goal of the season.
Gawdin’s incredible scoring streak reached 16 games Sunday, with 31 points (16G-15A) in the span, including a goal scoring streak that was extended to five games against the Raiders.
Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers) stopped 23 of 28 shots for the victory. Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Curtis Meger made 11 and 12 saves in the game respectively.
In addition to McDonald’s two-goal game, Stallard added two assists for the three-point game.
— SC Broncos (@SCBroncos) February 12, 2018
Regina Pats (1) at Saskatoon Blades (2) — SO
Regina (29-23-5-1) // Saskatoon (28-26-2-1)
The Saskatoon Blades struck back in the season series against the Regina Pats, earning a 2-1 shootout victory to create some room in the Eastern Conference wild card race.
Logan Christensen’s third goal of the season put the Blades up in the first and it wasn’t until the third when Matt Bradley tied up the game, forcing extra time.
Max Paddock and Nolan Maier made the game a goaltending battle, Paddock finishing with 28 saves and Maier earning 38 through regulation and overtime.
That sent things to a shootout, where with the teams tied after six rounds, Michael Farren scored and Maier stopped Josh Mahura (Anaheim Ducks) to clinch the victory.
Max Gerlach and Dawson Davidson picked up the assists for Saskatoon while Emil Oksanen and Cale Fleury (Montreal Canadiens) had the assists for the Pats.
The win for the Blades created a four-point gap between them and the Raiders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, while also closing their gap to five points between them and the Pats for the first wild card position.
🎥"All I know is that I really love playing Regina. Just the intensity that it brings and the crowds that it gets. It's just really good for our organization when we come out on top against them" – rookie netminder Nolan Maier on why he seems to thrive when playing the Pats. pic.twitter.com/FpvLvHX2VF
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) February 12, 2018
Seattle Thunderbirds (3) at Portland Winterhawks (5)
Seattle (27-20-6-2) // Portland (35-18-1-3)
The Portland Winterhawks remained hot on the heels of the Everett Silvertips for first place in the U.S. Division and Western Conference Sunday, beating the Seattle Thunderbirds 5-3 at home for a sweep of the home-and-home set.
Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks) scored a pair of goals and an assist while Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings) and Jake Gricius each added a pair of assists.
Goals from Dillon Hamaliuk and Turner Ottenbreit countered a short-handed goal from Blichfeld in the first. The T-Birds then maintained their advantage in the second as Lane Gilliss and Matthew Wedman traded goals.
It was all Winterhawks in the third though as Ryan Hughes and Alex Overhardt struck to put Portland up 4-3 followed in the late stages of the game by an empty-net goal from Blichfeld.
Shane Farkas stopped 19 of 22 shots for the victory to outduel Dorrin Luding, who had 31 saves for the Thunderbirds in the loss. Austin Strand (Los Angeles Kings) had a pair of assists in the loss.
— Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks) February 12, 2018
Everett Silvertips (3) at Spokane Chiefs (2)
Everett (36-17-2-2) // Spokane (30-20-3-2)
Dustin Wolf held the Spokane Chiefs silent for the first 40 minutes and then held them at bay in their comeback bid during the third as the Everett Silvertips completed three-in-three weekend with a 3-2 win and five of a possible six points.
Sepncer Gerth and Riley Sutter scored 109 seconds apart in the second period, followed 12:32 into the third by Connor Dewar’s 29th of the season to make it a 3-0 Everett game.
True to Friday’s script, the Chiefs had enough left in the tank to make a final push, but not enough this time however to make good on it.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angeles Kings) netted his 33rd goal of the season and Kailer Yamamoto (Edmonton Oilers) struck for his 13th of the season in the later stages of the period to break up Wolf’s shutout bid.
Sutter added an assist for the multi-point game while Kevin Davis, Ondrej Vala (Dallas Stars), and Ethan O’Rourke had assists in the game. Yamamoto added an assist in the loss while 2018 NHL draft prospect Ty Smith drew a pair of assists and Filip Kral added a helper.
Wolf would ultimately finish with 24 saves on 26 shots, beating out Donovan Buskey who had 18 saves on 21 shots.
With the win, Everett improved to 7-1-1-1 in their last 10 games.
(Tips 1 – Fatigue 0)
TIPS 3 – SPOKANE 2!!!!
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) February 12, 2018